Doug Baer is an exceptional man, but he doesn't see it that way. As the CEO of Brooks Rehabilitation, a non-profit that touches the lives of millions of people here on the First Coast, he works every day supporting the health community driven by a simple mantra; doing good by people makes you a better person. he serves on the board of a number of organizations including Dreams Come true, St. Pauls's Parish, the North Florida health Exchange, the American Health Association, as well as many others.
“I think if you do give back, and try to stretch yourself to do good things, it comes back to you,” says Baer. “I have always believed that.” He joined the board of the First Coast chapter of the American Heart Association in 2009, and currently serves as its chairman. This year the organization is honoring him and his wife Laura as the 2016 Heart Ball Honorees. “One of the reasons we are honoring Doug as the 2016 Heart Ball honoree is because of the growth of the organization under his leadership,” says Lisa Craig, communication director of the First Coast AHA.
Much of that is due to his work at Brooks. As a nonprofit, Brooks works in collaboration across the health industry, providing support to all hospitals and many other institutions. It is that community spirit that inspires the work they do and has allowed him to implement AHA programming and advocacy throughout medical facilities across the region.
“When we survey employees about why they join our organization, one of the top answers is our involvement in the community. It is more important to employees than most employers realize. They value working for a company that is engaged in the community,” says Baer.